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Updated 4:00 PM January 25, 2008




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Provost: Hiring of 100 new faculty set to begin

Provost Teresa Sullivan has put into motion the process for hiring 100 new faculty members, announcing a request for proposals (RFP) for the first positions to be filled during the five-year program.

President Mary Sue Coleman announced the initiative in November to create new tenure-track positions for junior faculty whose research and teaching are interdisciplinary. In her "Five Years Forward" address to the campus community, Coleman said finding solutions to the world's problems and challenges requires thinking across traditional boundaries. Through the new hires, she and Sullivan want colleges and schools to transcend disciplines, challenge students in new ways and help solve some of society's most vexing problems.

To that end, the president committed $10 million for centrally funded faculty salaries and benefits and $20 million for start-up costs. The fund, to be administered by the Office of the Provost, will cover salaries and benefits for the duration of the appointment, as well as equipment and renovation start-up costs. Colleges and schools are expected to provide space, any additional start-up costs and the funding for subsequent merit increases.

The plan is to hire approximately 25 faculty members in the first year with additional appointments each year until 2012, Sullivan says.

There is no limit to the number of proposals from a school or college, the provost says, but the RFP details specific requirements, including that the positions must be at the assistant professor level and may not be budgeted as joint appointments. Cluster positions that bring scholars from different fields together to explore significant questions or address complex problems are particularly encouraged, Sullivan says.

"We hope to see imaginative, 'big picture' proposals that will enhance and extend the way we teach and conduct research," she says. "Our hope is to see proposals that affect not only the University of Michigan, but that also will influence the larger academic community and the world beyond academe."

In particular, the provost seeks proposals that expand the University's ability to engage emerging research opportunities and increase tenure-track faculty involvement with the University's teaching mission.

The deadline for the RFP is 5 p.m. March 3. A faculty committee will review the proposals and make recommendations to the president and provost, who will make the final decisions. Deans will be notified by April 15 in order to allow searches to begin immediately.

The RFP can be found on the provost's Web site,

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